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What happens to your partner if you don't have a will?

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It’s so important as an LGBT+ couple to make sure your partner is provided for adequately in all circumstances. Here is an example of how a cohabitation can go wrong without an appropriate will:

Mr Smith and Mr Jones have been in a relationship for many years cohabiting and neither of them has made a will. If either one of them was to die without a will then the intestacy rules  would apply. If for example, Mr Smith died intestate leaving his estate worth over £250,000, his partner would not have an automatic right to that inheritance as it would follow the intestacy rules through blood relations. Mr Jones could ultimately make a claim on Mr Smith’s estate for financial provision, but he would not have any automatic entitlement under the intestacy rules.  
Now let’s use the scenario that Mr Smith and Mr Jones married on the historic day of 29 March 2014 and they later decided to adopt a child. Unfortunately, Mr Smith died without making a will . Therefore, as they are now married, Mr Jones would be entitled to Mr Smith’s estate under the intestacy rules. Mr Smith’s estate is now worth £300,000. The first £250,000 of his estate will pass directly to Mr Jones as surviving spouse and the remaining £50,000 of Mr Smith’s estate would then be split 50/50 between the surviving spouse, Mr Jones and his adopted child.   
If you are in a couple and have not yet considered the ‘what ifs’ that can happen in life, it doesn’t matter who you are, your future matters. 
For any information regarding wills, please contact the team in any of our offices in Colchester, Chelmsford or Basildon.